Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for his dream, but it’s his actions that continue to resonate with us today. He inspired us all to do what is right, not just for the African American community, but for humanity as a whole.
In partnership with Cambia’s African American Employee Resource Group (AAERG), Cambia hosted a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration entitled “Living Forward” with special guest Brian Grant. Brian has exemplified Dr. King’s call to action, even in the face of great personal challenges.
"We all have our mountains to climb. I realized there was no way I was going up that mountain alone."
Brian is a 12-year veteran of the NBA and a former Portland Trail Blazer. When diagnosed with young onset Parkinson’s disease at age 36, he realized that he had the opportunity to look beyond his personal challenges and take action toward positive change for others. He has poured his heart and soul into developing the Brian Grant Foundation, whose mission is to empower people impacted by Parkinson’s to lead active and fulfilling lives.
During his remarks, Brian shared the story of his experience climbing to the 8,365 foot summit of Mount Saint Helens with five other individuals with Parkinson’s disease.
“We all have our mountains to climb,” he said, reflecting upon this experience. “I realized there was no way I was going up that mountain alone. I’m also there to help other people on their way up the mountain. I had to ask myself, ‘Is this just about you Brian? Or is it about you extending your hand out, pulling the next person over the ridge?’”
Brian also shared a call to action. Speaking on equal rights, he said, “It’s amazing how far we’ve come. But don’t think we’re done.” He encouraged the audience to treat people the same way, all the time, regardless of who they are.
In closing remarks, Cambia CEO Mark Ganz said, “Martin Luther King, Jr. stands for courage, a weaver of community. He put himself out on the line.” Like him, Brian made the choice to build a community, helping Parkinson’s patients realize they can live with the disease.
“I loved your game as a basketball player,” said Mark, “but I love your game even more now.”